Been way too long…………….

My goodness, 2015 already!

Cant believe the time is passing so quickly. I was shocked to see how much time had passed since I last posted an update. Sydney Quilt Show. Oops. But in my defence I have been busy. Teaching, traveling, editing and designing. Plus, throw in a wedding for my only daughter, and 2014 was a very busy year!

In August I was privileged to lead the Travelrite tour to the Birmingham Quilt Show, after first visiting ports around the British Isles on a cruise ship.  Stops included the Bristol, Guernsey, Cork,Dublin and Belfast in Ireland, Glasgow, Invergordon and Edinburgh in Scotland and Le Havre in France, from which point we ventured inland to see Giverny, Monet’s  house and garden. In a strange twist of fate, my daughter, sister and father also visited Giverny this year. It made it much more personal when we were discussing the grounds, villages and food in the area. We were all in awe of the design and colours of the house and grounds. So much inspiration!

Just some of the beautiful flowers in Monet's garden in Giverny.

Just some of the beautiful flowers in Monet’s garden in Giverny.

A brilliant display of quilts were at the Birmingham show, in both the judged and exhibition areas. It is always wonderful to see such a variety of quilts from a multitude of countries. But, the winning quilt was caused a little bit of chatter. It was a two sided quilt by Ruth Parker. Interesting concept and exceptionally well made, but…

This was a two sided quilt. The white glove lady was kept very busy.

This was a two sided quilt. The white glove lady was kept very busy.

Eloquence and Integrity by Ruth Parker , Birmingham 2014

Eloquence and Integrity by Ruth Parker , Birmingham 2014

Enough talk of travel for this post. I thought I would show you some you how colour changes the look of a quilt again. I love my Porto Alegre quilt. All made from 2 1/2in strips, except for the red border. I have photos of several students ( and mum’s) version of my quilt as inspiration for your upcoming quilt projects.

Porto Alegre Wokshop based on MM100 Scrap, Stash and Strip Templates

Porto Alegre Wokshop based on MM100 Scrap, Stash and Strip Templates

Sue's Porto Alegre

Sue’s Porto Alegre

Veronica's Porto Alegre in batik

Veronica’s Porto Alegre in batik

Mum's old world vintage Porto Alegre made as a gift for a friend. The colours had to match the caravan interior!

Mum’s old world vintage Porto Alegre made as a gift for a friend. The colours had to match the caravan interior!

Caroline's Porto Alegre. after making this quilt she was not afraid of inset seams!

Caroline’s Porto Alegre. after making this quilt she was not afraid of inset seams!

Ann's very happy version of Porto Alegre for her daughter.

Ann’s very happy version of Porto Alegre for her daughter.

Anastasia's Porto Alegre in Moda fabrics for her niece.

Anastasia’s Porto Alegre in Moda fabrics for her niece.

Happy Stitching, and I promise it will not be so long before I next write.

Now to get back to the red and white design for the NSW quilt show challenge.

Cheers,

Michelle

Quilt Show Time

It is that time of the year. The NSW Quilt Guild Show is on next week, starting Wednesday at the new venue of Glebe Island. The show does not happen without the hard work and many hours of the volunteers of the guild. Yesterday we spent a long, but enjoyable day at Concord for the judging of the quilts. While I cant tell you what happened, I can tell you we have a lot of fun flipping the quilts for the judges. And, we all love our up close , hands-on ( with white gloves of course) time with the quilts in the categories on our tables.

The quilts arrive in bags, are judged and return to the bags. They are then taken to be hung at the show.

The quilts arrive in bags, are judged and return to the bags. They are then taken to be hung at the show.

 

Congratulations to all that have entered the show! There was a wide variety of quilts within all categories. Prizewinners would have received phone calls last night or today. So, we all now wait until Wednesday to see what we have won. Those of us who had quilts entered had to leave the area when their chosen categories was judged. So, even though we were there, we do not know our own fates. We may however know what is Best of Show……………….all I can say is come along to the show to see the quilt, it is stunning!

I have entered two quilts, below is a photo of Pigalle. A sampler quilt with a difference, it is all made from one template set, my Wheel of Fortune set. I love the addition of a little bit of blue among the red, black and white. It was a fun quilt to make, but really only came together as a design when the pieced sashings were inserted between the blocks.

Pigalle Quilt made using my MM102 Wheel of Fortune Template set and many, fun fabrics!

Pigalle Quilt made using my MM102 Wheel of Fortune Template set and many, fun fabrics!

I am working on the Brother stand on Wednesday at the show. Would love to catch up with old friends, and meet new friends. I hope you all make the effort to come along to the new venue. Extra buses and ferries have been put on to access the site. There is also parking on site.

Anxiously awaiting Wednesday,

Michelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Quilt Magazine Out

No matter how much I try, I can’t fit any more hours into my days. Hence, the lack of blog posts recently. And, many of the things that I have worked on I have not been able to show you photos. But, today I can!

Studio Set up for Woven Plaid DVD.

Studio Set up for Woven Plaid DVD.

As you all know, we work with long lead times in the publishing world. Some time ago, the talented Deborah Louie and myself teamed up to design a project that we could both present on the one DVD. With my skills laying in the piecing field, I designed the patchwork quilt. I love to show people a new technique, so choose to make a woven, plaid look section. When selecting the fabrics for this quilt I went in search of a stripe, to really enhance the plaid look. I ended up with a Brandon Mably herringbone stripe in black/ grey and blue. It made my quilt more masculine, so added a beautiful quality solid grey for the background, as this would show Deb’s quilting, and lastly a spot, because who resist a spot?

Modern Woven Plaid DVD Cover.

Modern Woven Plaid DVD Cover.

The woven section of the quilt requires lots of partial seams to complete the section. It is not hard, but is a little slow. You need to start at the top and work your way down the piece. I had actually planned on using more fabrics in the design, but I fussy cut the herringbone print to look like I had joined three strips through the middle .

Woven Plaid Quilt

Deb then worked her magic on the background. She quilted a plaid in contrasting threads and also created different textures with a variety of free motion stitches. The end result of our labours is a modern quilt suitable for a special man in your life.

Deb and Clare on set being clapped by Miriam.

Deb and Clare on set being clapped by Miriam.

However, we did not forget the girls. I pieced a second version of the quilt in pinks and greens. Deb then quilted it in a quite a different manner. You can see a sneak peek in the photo above, but to see the whole thing you will have to buy the magazine. Our joint DVD is on sale with the new Quilts for Today issue of Quilters Companion which is due in store on Thursday.  It is a fabulous issue, but then again I am biased.

Modern Quilts Two - Quilts for Today Cover

Filming is hard work, but sooo much fun when you can do it with friends. We enjoyed our day filming and hope you love the end result.

Deb, Clare and I on the DVD set. Having way too much fun! Montage Tim!!!

Deb, Clare and I on the DVD set. Having way too much fun! Montage Tim!!!

Happy Stitching!

Michelle

New Workshop Piece – Fractured Daisy

I have been busy playing with multiple projects in 2014.  This year I have completed a queensize quilt top, modern comforter in the gorgeous Rapture range by Pat Bravo ( for Quilters Companion magazine – no photo yet) , second colourway of Avalon and today have just finished this brand new workshop piece called Fractured Daisy. Designed at a request from from students who have only used their 9 degree wedge rulers once. I wanted to show them a vastly different effect, rather than the strata version that they had previously used to construct a curved edge top in the shape of an S.

Fractured Daisy Bedrunner 20in x 82in.

Fractured Daisy Bedrunner 20in x 82in.

This piece will now live on my guest bed and I will make a matching cushion, using a different technique. I have enjoyed playing with this so much, it may start a whole new series. It may also be a project on a new cruise with Travelrite in 2015. Shhhh, you did not hear that from me!

Now off to write the instructions. Much prefer to be sewing!

Hope some of you have had rain in the last few days. Alas , there has not been one drop here, but the cloud cover was appreciated.

Happy Stitching!

Happy New Year, Happy New Quilting Tool!

Happy 2014!

I have already been very busy sewing, but cannot show you the designs, just yet! I can however share the latest tool that I have purchased. I make numerous quilts and projects every year. And, while enjoy the hand sewing of the binding, it does take time to get around the edge of large quilts. As I wandered among the many stalls at Houston International Quilt Festival last October, I spotted what I thought may be an answer to completing some of my quilts: The Shortcut Binding Tool by Franklin Quilt Company.

I love handy bit’s of plastic, and this is my current favourite for binding.

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This tool allows you to make a contrast flange and binding all in one step. Two different size strips are cut from the selected fabrics, the measurements are on the ruler so you can use the ruler  to cut your strips. The strips are then sewn into lengths, like a normal binding, then sewn together to make the full width. Bindings are then pressed in half, right side out , as per normal. But, the contrast flange colour will sit out on one edge, past the edge of the actual binding fabric.

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 The binding is then sewn onto the back of the quilt, with the flange side facing you. While the instructions are comprehensive, they neglected to say that the edge of the quilt and the batting all needs to be level. I personally leave a 1/4in of batting and backing fabric visible past the edge of my quilt when I do normal, 2 1/2in cut bindings. So, after trimming the extra away, the binding is sewn onto the back, with a walking foot and a 3/8in seam allowance. Mitre the corners as per normal.  A 12in tail is left at the beginning and an 18in opening when you come back around to allow the joining of the binding.

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Both ends of the binding are marked as per instructions, then cut on the angle.

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The two angled ends are then joined as per a normal 45 degree seam in a binding. The last of the binding can now be stitched onto the quilt.

Then, the binding is rolled over to the front of the quilt and you stitch in the ditch next to the binding, in a thread to match to the flange that you are sewing on. Did I mention no hand sewing with this method? It all happened quickly and easy!

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My new tablerunner that had been waiting for binding for several months was now completed. The contrast flange gives a lovely detail to the edge and avoids the fabric in the binding matching up with itself at any point in the design. I love this new binding tool!

But, and there is normally some type of but…… you do end up with a straight line of sewing which is visible on the back of the quilt or project. This will not stop me using this on any projects, other than those entered into a quilt show. I love the effect of the flange, and the speed of completing the binding. Overall, very happy with my new purchase.

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Now off to write the instructions for the tablerunner. I have called it Elbows and it uses my MM100 Scrap, Stash and Strip Template set and two 5in Charm square packs.

Happy Stiching!

Shopping and Quilts

Incriminating evidence of my shopping fetish!

Incriminating evidence of my shopping fetish!

 As you may know, I am privileged to escort the Quilter’s Companion / Travelrite patchwork tours overseas. These tours have previously taken us to America, Japan , England and France. While away we shop : fabric, clothes, shoes, handbags, patterns, books………This photo was taken by Jessie on our last tour to America. And no, all the bags do not belong to me! I just carried them back for the girls on tour. The hopped off the bus before the hotel in Washington DC. I confess,  I did purchase a little fabric, but I had it shipped home from the store. My bag was overwieght with Mother-of-the-bride outfits and shoes!

Margaret at Show and Tell with her flea market find, a vintage toile.

Margaret at Show and Tell with her flea market find, a vintage toile.

 

We have so many experiences while on tour, and shopping is certainly a large part of any tour. While away in Europe with a group of girls Margaret found a fabulous vintage toile in the flea markets of Paris, before the tour even started!! It had a scene of carriages, horses and homes printed in reds, blues and browns on a light chatreuse coloured background.

Being ever so prepared, Margaret had also packed a photo and fabric requirements for a quilt, Cameo by Linda Butcher published in QC #47 . We were then able to spend time while away finding fabrics to co-ordinate with the vintage fabric. Most of the fabrics were found at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England. this simply being due to the number if stalls and the variety of fabric styles avaible.

Cameo by Linda Butcher , published in QC #47.

Cameo by Linda Butcher , published in QC #47.

Linda’s quilt is a serene, pastel version featuring a floral centre and stripes in the narrow borders. The toile that Margaret found sent her quilt in a very different direction.

The centre of Margaret's Cameo quilt.

The centre of Margaret’s Cameo quilt.

We found some lovely strong, blue fabrics to bring out the blue in the print. Many French General red and grey prints worked a treat and added a variety of textures to the design. A spot was chosen for the background.

Borders added to the Cameo quilt centre.

Borders added to the Cameo quilt centre.

As you can see, not only did Margaret change the colours of the quilt, but she changed the borders as well. Linda’s original design had the pieced blocks only on the side of the centre medallion. Maragaret has chosen to take the blocks around the centre and then redrafted the bias appliqued border. What a difference the colour makes ! The quilt design is beautiful, but with a special fabric and many memories woven into the making of this quilt, I am sure it will be one of Margaret’s favourite pieces.

No photos of the finished quilt yet. But will post when I get them. Quilts are utility objects, but they are much moe than that for me. Memories, special fabrics, times in our lives all get stitched into our quilts as we make them. I hope this has inspired you to find your special fabric and make your special quilt.

Happy Stitching, Michelle 

 

 

Upcoming Workshop

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Workshops are a great way to learn a new technique, make new friends, see a quilt design in many colourways, even learn more about your machine!

In mid July Cottage Quiltworks is running Quilt Escape, in conjunction with Quiltsmith and will feature a  week of workshops , with a variety of teachers and a lecture on Abstract Quilts by Gwen Marston caps it all off.

I will be teaching Oitagonal on Thursday, 11th July. I expect a lot of varitiona to be made on the day, as the effects achieved will be dependent on the fabric chosen by the students.

I currently teach at CQW on Wednesday a month. These are free-for-all classes. You can come along and make any quilt you desire. Jelly Roll quilts, foundation piecing, Quilt-As-You-Go, modern or traditional.

Elizabeth is currently working her way through my 1850’s Revisited quilt, but in tradtional fabrics and using hand applique techniques.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Elizabeth's 1850's applique block Elizabeth's 1850'2 mariners compass Classroom at Cottage Quiltworks

Sitching in company allows you to bounce ideas of one another, check fabric selections and do a little bit of shopping as well ( I always leave an amount of my pay behind as the girls have a killer selection of modern and vintage fabric!).

This year I was awarded two prizes at the NSW Quilter’s Guild Show at Darling Harbour. “1850’s Revisted” placed 2nd in Commercailly Quilted – Large. While “Avignon” took out 2nd place in New Traditions category. Below is a photo of Sue’s interpretation of my design. She had a stack of small pieces of traditonal Japanese fabrics which she needed a home for. We extended the size of the quilt out to Queensize to fit her bed. Since this photo was taken , she has completed the top and is now working her way through the quilting. 

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What a difference a colour makes!

Happy Stitching